Grad School Be Like…

If it’s been a while, that would be because grad school has taken over my life. As proof, I’m going to share what I’ve experienced and learned in bullet form because even on this lovely Friday night, I’m working on a take home exam. Super lovely.

  • Grad school is isolating. And I mean this in more ways than one. For starters, I have learned how hard it is to make friends in the real adult world. Making in friends in college was relatively simple. You could meet people in your dorm, on-campus job, parties, through friends of friends, in a club, in your class, etc. It was really easy. Like really easy. I was in several organizations, lived on campus, worked on campus, and joined a sorority. I was surrounded by so many people who were my age and who were in the same boat as me generally when it came to wanting to make friends. Grad school is completely different. I live at home and commute to school and when I don’t I stay with my boyfriend, but I’m not really living in the surrounding area around all the other students. Regardless, most of the students at my school are there to become medical doctors. I have a total of 3 other people in my program that were incoming this year. There’s about 10 people in my program classes. So from that small pool, its pretty hard to make friends. Another feeling is that I kind of don’t really belong to this school (again, my program is a tiny fraction out of the total amount of medical students here) so I feel like I just go to school, listen or do my lab work and leave. All of this might change someday, but I don’t feel any attachment to going here. The other isolation factor is that I feel so busy all of the time that I barely see the friends that I actually do have. Even trying to keep up with texting has been hard, and while I feel like a terrible friend, I’m quickly overwhelmed by my to-do list.
  • I hate commuting. What should maybe be a 20 minute drive has turned into: I need to leave my house 45 minutes before my class. 264 is the bane of my existance. Driving from Norfolk to Virginia Beach is my personal hell from 3pm to 6pm. Why can’t I fly.
  • I don’t feel that smart. I mean, maybe I am, or have to have been to get in but I feel like I’m always one step behind or that everyone else knows more than I do. Just a feeling.
  • I am grateful for the people that support me. So I can’t really hold a job while I’m doing this program and as someone who has been consistently working and making money since high school, it’s hard to be dependent completely on other people. But I really am lucky that my parents live close to school and that my boyfriend also supports me by keeping food I can make lunch with in his apartment and I can sleep there whenever. I know I would fall apart without all of this.
  • I learned I am more resourceful than I thought. Some of my peers opt for buying lunch and coffee throughout the week, which my broke self cannot afford, so apparently, I have been told that I’m pretty “smart” for getting up early enough to prepare my meals for the day or plan ahead. But honestly, if you live the no income life, what are you really going to do y’all?
  • I’m getting old(er). So recently (last night) I found a gray hair. Last month I went to the doctor because I’ve had back pains all summer–which it turned out my entire left back muscle was inflamed. I just go online and realize I have no idea what teenagers are talking about sometimes. It’s happening you guys at the ripe age of 22.
  • Trying is important. Even if all of this seems overwhelming and I want to shave my head off and be a live in nanny instead, I learned that giving an effort is all I can do at times. I’m trying to stay on top of this work load. I’m trying to understand concepts instead of memorizing them. I’m trying to make my mental health a priority even when I’m running out of time. I’m trying not to run myself into the ground.

So there are my thoughts. I’m hoping some things improve but it’s all definitely an experience that I can only hope is a positive one. Back to my essays so I can try and have a weekend.

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